22

This isn't really a philosophy question, but there is no atheism stackexchange and so it seems philosophy is the next best bet (we do address the philosophy of religion/religiosity and the lack thereof, but a question phrased like this is more of a psychology and/or cultural question). However, psychology wouldn't take this question and since I can't think ...


13

One accepts the absurd because it is banal, like the weather: arbitrary but every-day. Take your title question. Why should you drink a cup of coffee, rather than killing yourself? Because, perhaps, you enjoy drinking coffee. But why should that matter? Well, it's a priority — and interestingly, because coffee is an acquired taste, it is a priority ...


13

I've been an atheist for as long as I can remember (I never quite believed anyone could rise from the dead, walk on water and stuff without documented, repeatable proof) and I've never struggled with this question, for the simple fact that life is awesome. I love many things: Photography, gadgets, my wife, my cat, my family, helping people. I get much ...


11

I think that the second half of the given Wikipedia passage is just confused. First, the concept of recursion belongs to algorithm theory, and is unhelpful here. Recursion, unlike what is written, is not nonsensical. Second, it should have been "x = life" rather then "x = the meaning of life". Then the argument becomes: if we accept that 'the meaning of x' ...


10

There are already several answers that hint at what I'm about to say, but here's my opinion on the matter. I've been an Atheist my whole life (I was actually shocked to learn that other people took religion seriously), but the full consequences of my (lack of) beliefs didn't hit me until I was about 12, when I first realized that I would die and that every ...


9

I actually would not say that One of the oldest questions is "What is the meaning of life?" It is true that people have been asking for a long time how they fit in and what they should do, but it is only recently that people have understood the question in personal and existential terms. More classical questions are: "what does it mean to be a good ...


8

I feel your pain. I grew up Catholic, but I lost my faith in my early 20s when I began asking questions and discovered answers that completely contradicted what I had known to be the truth. I'm actually upset that I lost that faith. As you're well aware, it provides comfort and gives you specific purpose in life - be good for 100 years and you'll have an ...


7

First, your emotions around this question are something that I would advise you to seek help with - whether it is with a trusted friend or relative, or someone trained to help people deal with such a sense of despair. I can tell you from personal experience, it is not an academic matter, and can be a matter of life or death. So talk to someone about how you ...


6

The whole discussion whether life is trivial or meaningful seems to me to be based on the wrong assumption that significance or insignificance is a property inherent to life, that life qua life is meaningful or meaningless. The correct use of the word meaningful is meaningful for someone. The life of a certain individual from the human species or from any ...


5

Science & religion are not mutually exclusive - unless you wish for it to be so. All the major religions have a cosmology & within that an originary myth. And almost all mention a chaos & then an order imposed. Quite how that differs from the 'Big Bang' I'm not sure. Most people look towards religion to give meaning, cohesion & continuity ...


5

First, you must be using humanist in an idiosyncratic way. There's no necessary exclusion between believing in God or having the values of society and being a humanist. There's a speech that gives at least one humanist's answer: Existentialism is a Humanism by Jean-Paul Sartre. You could start there. In that text Sartre argues that even if there is an ...


5

I think the claim that "meaning of life" is new in philosophy may be (a) possibly true in the narrowest sense and (b) empty in any real sense. First off, it might be possibly true in the narrowest sense. "Meaning of life" is somewhat a neologism. I don't recall it appearing in any classic philosophical texts, but there are at least two reasons for this. ...


5

In the neo-Platonic tradition, from Plato, through Plotinus, and from there integrated into mainstream Christian and Islamic theology, good is the only true reality, and evil is just the absence of good, just as darkness is the absence of light, and cold is the absence of heat. But there are other religious and philosophical traditions in which goodness ...


4

You're right. If everyone can create "meaning" based on personal preference not some philosophical idea it will amount to contradiction. Because the concept of purpose on itself (as far as the pure abstract meaning denotes) refers to whatever we pursue in our life. In this sense getting answers can be counted as the purpose of writing questions in Stack, ...


4

As an atheist myself, this is a question that I, personally, have struggled with. I've never been suicidal, or even had serious suicidal thoughts, but pondering my own existence and the reasons thereof is one of the things I often do during meditation. Assuming you were apart of one of the three major Abrahamic religions (I do apologize if I am wrong), ...


4

As a sociological phenomenon, people probably seek the meaning of life because we're social primates and as such it is important for us to occupy the socially-appropriate role in our tribe. Thus it isn't at all surprising for us to have feelings that there is something we "ought" to do be doing. This doesn't tell us anything about its coherence as an ...


4

That's a false trichotomy. One can also (4) Recognize a non-universal source for meaning (5) Disagree that we are sure things are meaningless (6) Ignore philosophical arguments that assume that disharmony between what we want and believe is so desperately important that we should kill ourselves or leap into the arms of hypothetical superbeings to save us....


4

There is a lot of Ben and Jerrys left to be eaten, places to see, and so on. As with everything else in life, just because the fun will eventually end, does not imply that you need to end it early. Have you ever met a kid that don't want to go to Disney land, for the reason that you eventually will have to leave?


4

You're kind of begging the question, assuming that the meaning of life depends on purposes and that all purposes already have been fulfilled. Indeed, in such a scenario there would be no meaning to life according to that definition. If you would still like to have a meaning of life, you could: Use another definition of "meaning of life" Argue that that ...


4

1) Your question concerning the value of life has been answered differently. The answer depends on the worldview of the person who gives the answer. E.g., according to the Jewish and the Christian religion life and human life in particular has a high value in itself (intrinsic value). On the other end of the spectrum we have people who emphasize just the ...


4

Not only humans die. Other animals die too. From the perspective of evolution dying of old animals gives way to a new generation, better adapted to a changing environment. I do not recognize a higher meaning of life. Nature exists billions of years without animals. Nevertheless from the perspective of the single human individuum: We are able to choose a ...


4

Even animals care for their young ones (their feelings and emotions also). This is an already-installed quality in most living things. Haven't you seen mother birds hatching their eggs? Will they hatch if no care is given? ...Bees caring their larvae? Are they all necessary to maintain the equilibrium of nature? What would happen if no care (for feelings ...


4

What is the meaning of X? What is the meaning of the meaning of life? For the meaning of life to have any meaning, it must first exist. Either your life has meaning, or it doesn't. Here is the meaning: A life without meaning is like a rudderless ship. So the meaning of the Meaning of Life is to provide a stabilizing intent, purpose, or goal with which ...


4

What's the point of working when all money will eventually perish? Why bother going to school when your brain is just a temporary storing unit that decays and will eventually perish too? Why do anything, knowing that nothing will be worth while and that eventually everything will be destroyed in the inevitable heatdeath of our universe? Thing is, you're ...


3

It may well be that when science gives out, and is unable to answer questions of vital and fundamental interest, then religion will find a permanent place to step in and offer its own answers. This is a psychological point, not of great philosophical interest. For myself, I think religion has a deeper rationale - whether rationally adequate or not I offer no ...


3

Does not existentialism fit the third criteria? To "Accept the Absurd" is to accept the notion that humanity is incapable of determining whether or not there is greater meaning to life. Another prime example of this notion is apatheism - the idea that we are incapable of determining whether or not a higher power exists, and therefore that the pursuit of ...


3

It's up to you to choose. One option that is immediately appealing to many, especially the young, is simply to enjoy what life has to offer. Cultivate friendships & socialize. Travel. Experiment with drugs. Whatever floats your personal boat. Variations on this include self-improvement pastimes such as academic learning, art & craft, musical ...


3

What the quote is saying is that: One can ask about "the meaning of X" for any X. One can therefore ask about "the meaning of the statement 'the meaning of life'", or the meaning of that statement, recursively, for ever Thus, since there is no base meaning (it's a kind of "turtles all the way down" statement), the statement "meaning of life" is meaningless. ...


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